Across the two Test matches in West Indies, Jasprit Bumrah showed his class, he showed his skills and he showed why he is India’s X-factor across all the three formats. To sum it all up – he picked up 13 wickets in 2 Tests at an average of 9.23 and strike rate of 22.6. This includes two five-wicket hauls as well as a hat-trick. His Test career has spanned 21 months and in this duration, he has broken into the top 3 Test bowlers in the ICC rankings. There is more to Bumrah than just the jittery run up, the unorthodox action and the extremely stable temperament – it is the skills and it is the hours spent trying to hone his craft.
While we should not jump the gun and refrain from pitting him against the all-time greats, the prospect is extremely tantalising. His average of 19.24 is the 14th-best in the history of Test cricket for bowlers who have picked up a minimum of 50 wickets and when we filter it down to the fast bowlers. he stands at the eighth position.
After the first 12 Test matches, Bumrah averages 19.24 which is amazing. Yet, even as we blink, we compare him to the averages of Waqar Younis (19.33), Allan Donald (23.21), Dennis Lillee (24.18) and Jeff Thompson (27.26). Now, after these stunning numbers, we might just forget to blink again.
Despite this stupendous start, the fast bowler wants to stay grounded, ask questions, improve and learn. He keeps adding new tricks to his repertoire and this is where he could just be India’s best ever fast bowler.